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Mark Cuban is Right, But the NCAA Won’t Care.

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Given that January is right around the corner that means it’s now time for everyone’s favorite annual BCS bash session. This year the fists are flying at the system with Andre Johnson-like rage. Speaking of which, I’ve closely watched the 2 Texans’ games since Andre went Jersey Shore on Cortland’s dome, and DBs want absolutely no part of him. They aren’t even checking Johnson on the line anymore, which helps to explain the 15 catches and nearly 300 yards receiving over that 2 game span. You should follow Andre’s lead and uppercut the most annoying person in y our offices. Not only will you feel better, but more than likely it will directly lead to a raise. I digress, this year the BCS bashing started slowly, but has picked up over the past day or two following Mark Cuban’s comments. If you haven’t read them, here they are:

“The more I think about it, the more sense it makes as opposed to buying a baseball team,”… “You can do something the whole country wants done.”

Cuban’s vision includes either a 12 or 16 team playoff with homefield advantage going to the higher seeded team. The aspect of rewarding the higher seed, according to Cuban would ensure the college football regular season retains its importance. His plan also ensures that the bowls would exist, but plans to make it more worthwhile to the universities than the current system. He goes on to describe his thoughts:

“Put $500 million in the bank and go to all the schools and pay them money as an option,”… “Say, ‘Look, I’m going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you’re picked for the playoff system, you’ll go.’ ”

I have to admit, Cuban is onto something here, and I would gladly ship him $15 bucks to get going with it.  If enough people with enough money keep stepping up to the table, it could get legs and go somewhere. Unfortunately right now, the school presidents know that they are losing out on money and for some reason don’t care. With Congress’ involvement in the past, what may happen is the NCAA suing Cuban. If that happened, I don’t know enough about the inner-workings of the NCAA to say whether or not they would be successful, but that alone might be enough to finally get a playoff system.

I like Cuban’s plans, and really like his bank account. My plan differs from his slightly, but in the end any playoff system is better than what is currently in place.

Highlights of my system (with input from Sidepoints Contributor Chris Hocevar)

  • · 16 team playoff with teams seeded 1-16
  • · Conference Champions receive automatic bids to the tournament. Conferences would have to shake themselves out to determine the actual number, but using this year’s number, 11 teams would get automatic bids.
  • · The 5 highest ranked teams (BCS or whatever other system) would receive at-large bids.
  • · The first round of games would be held at the higher seeded team’s homefield.
  • · After that, the various bowl games would host the remaining games.

This year’s tournament participants would be as follows:

Big 10 – Wisconsin
Big 12 – Oklahoma 7
Big East – Connecticut 14
SEC – Auburn
ACC – Virginia Tech
MAC – Miami (OH) 15
Pac 10 – Oregon 2
Sun Belt – FIU
WAC – Nevada
5 at-large bids determined by the BCS standings
At-Large – Stanford
At-Large – Ohio State
At-Large – Arkansas
At-Large – Michigan St
At-Large – Boise State 10

Left out at 10-2: LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma State… sorry boys, don’t lose twice.

The bracket would set up like this:

#1 Auburn (13-0) vs. #16 FIU (6-6)

#8 Arkansas (10-2) vs. #9 Michigan State (11-1)

#5 Wisconsin (11-1) vs. # 12 Nevada (12-1)

#4 Stanford (11-1) vs. #13 UCF (10-3)

#6 Ohio State (11-1) vs. #11 Virginia Tech (11-2)

#3 TCU (12-0) vs. #14 Connecticut (8-4)

#7 Oklahoma (11-2) vs #10 Boise State (11-1)

#2 Oregon (12-0) vs. #15 Miami (OH) (9-4)

Looking at the matchups and potential matchups, Oklahoma would get a chance to avenge their Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State. TCU may get their shot at Ohio State, whose school president E. Gordon Gee publicly stated that the Horned Frogs didn’t deserve title consideration. Arkansas would get another shot at Cam Newton and Auburn in what was one of the most entertaining games of the year. Besides, who would want to see a Rose Bowl matchup from last year where Oregon would get a chance to prove that they are better than Ohio State…this time in a National Semifinal?

The problem with this, or any playoff scenario, is that it makes too much sense. There is no reason on Earth why something like this isn’t already in place. Instead of arguing about who belongs where, prove it on the field. This is football, not figure skating, we don’t need (*cough impartial *cough) judges determining who the best is, just play it out. Some of the presidents continue to spew nonsense about players missing classes and football spilling into the 2nd semester as if they care. I do feel bad for the players attending FCS and Division II and III schools; they will all undoubtedly fail out of college as a result of their playoff systems. I’m preaching to the choir, I know, but the title of student-athlete went out the window with the advent of the $100 handshake many moons ago.

Unfortunately until someone or something forces the NCAA’s hand, we will be stuck with the current system or something similar. They will keep feeding us the same lines about how if everyone’s talking about it, it must be good…ask Lindsay Lohan how that’s working out. I just dread the day when I sit down 40 years from now with my grandson and have to explain how National Titles were determined in “my day.” He will look at me the same way I look at people that tell me about milkmen or walking to school uphill both ways… But by that time the current college presidents will be gone and we will have progressed. Progress is good; it’s just a shame that we have to sacrifice the present to get there.


One Response to “Mark Cuban is Right, But the NCAA Won’t Care.”

  1. I support the 16 team playoff system. I’ve always said, the biggest problem with Division I-A college football is that well over 50% over teams aren’t even given the opportunity to compete for a national championship. The 16 team playoff accomplishes that.

    Posted by Dubba | December 21, 2010, 11:39 am

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